Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do Mormons Believe in the Trinity?

The answer is yes; we believe in the Trinity of the Bible; but not the Trinity of post-Apostate Christendom. The English word Trinity is derived from Latin Trinitas, meaning “the number three, a triad”. The corresponding word in Greek is Τριάς, meaning “a set of three” or “the number three”. (See Wikipedia article on the Trinity.)

It simply referred to the three members of the Godhead—the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. It did not have the connotations that modern Trinitarians like to put on it. Other English equivalents of the word could be trio, triad, trilogy, triple, triumvirate, or trine. They all basically convey the same idea. They mean three! Its use in early Christianity came out of the realization that the three members of the Godhead are sometimes referenced or invoked together or as though acting in concert, as in these quotes:

Matthew 3:16–17: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (See also Mark 1:10–11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32.)

Luke 1:35: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Hebrews 9:14:How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Acts 7:55: “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,”

Matthew 28:19: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

That is how the word Trinity originated. It simply meant the three members of the Godhead. It was not an attempt to define how the three are united, act in unison, or are “one”. Well, Latter-day Saints very much believe in the three members of the Godhead—the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. Our very first Article of Faith states that “We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost”. That is the Trinity.

Latter-day Saints who discuss this subject with Christians of other faiths, or with LDS critics, are often unwilling to say that we believe in the Trinity, because they associate the word with the Trinitarian theology of traditional Christianity. But that is a mistake. When the critics of the Church assert that Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity, they want to create the false impression that Mormons do not believe in the three members of the Godhead—the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost—which of course is not correct. Mormons very much believe in the three members of the Godhead. So the correct answer to that question is that Mormons believe in Trinity of the Bible, which is the correct doctrine of the Trinity; but not in Trinitarianism, or in the Trinitarian theology of traditional Christianity. They are two different things. Trinitarianism has no biblical basis. It is a false theology that developed after the Apostasy of the early Christian church.


Anonymous said...

John chapters 1.-5. tell a different message. "In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God."(That's just part of it, I suggest reading the whole thing, it's not long.) Jesus Christ is the Word, and He IS God. You seem to say in you FAQ that you believe Christ is the Son of God but not that He is one with God. I am afraid that is not the case. See John chapter 1 verse 18, as well.(It may vary on translation, sorry.) That aside, I have noticed evidence of the Trinity with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in Genesis. Genesis 18 depicts God appearing to him as three men, but Abraham refers to them all as Lord, singular. Lastly, and I'm sure there is more biblical evidence, Jesus calls Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we seperate the Trinity we find God to be the Truth, Jesus the Way, and the Spriit the Life (as they are generally associated although those titles are interchangeable to all three). This tells us He is all three and one. The Biblical Trinity: three in one.

Anonymous said...

Also, check out Romans 8: 9.-11.
Note that in these verses the Holy Spirit is called both "the Spirit of God" and "the Spirit of Christ." Thus the two terms are synonymous, which means that Christ is God, and so is the Holy Spirit.

mrsnoahmoerbeek said...

I notice you don't mention what the "false Trinity" you think that because you all put "head" after "God" that it makes the definition different? The way you all describe the Godhead is no different from what the Church has always taught on the Trinity.

Anonymous said...

So Christians believe Jesus = God = Holy Spirit and Mormons believe Jesus + God + Holy Spirit = something called "Godhead"?

Anonymous said...

We are going to be so surprised when we get to heaven. There will be Mormons. Catholics, Methodist, Church of Christ, etc...... There may even be a few of us Baptist and we're all going to be so surprised to see each other. Maybe we'll be finished with all the back stabbing and self righteousness then and all have a good laugh about all these questions. I suspect God will.